Pre-determiners

Pre-determiners are used to modify a noun. They are placed before the central determiners. Follow the article to learn about them.

intermediate
What Are Pre-determiners in English Grammar?

What Are Pre-determiners?

In English grammar, pre-determiners are words that are used before other determiners and are part of the noun group.
Pre-determiners are often quantitative words, that may be placed before an article or other determiner(s).

Pre-determiners: Types

Pre-determiners are categorized into four main groups:

Warning

Pre-determiners do not usually co-occur. This means that two pre-determiners cannot be used together at the same time.

Multipliers as Pre-determiners

A multiplier is a word that is used to indicate how many times something is multiplied.
Phrases such as double, twice, three times, four times, etc. are all multipliers. These multipliers are used before countable and uncountable nouns as pre-determiners. Check out the examples:

He is twice the man you are.

You should brush your teeth three times a day.

Fractions as Pre-determiners

Fractions are used to describe numbers smaller than one or they can show a proportion of a particular noun or amount such as 'half, three-quarters, five-eighths, two-thirds, etc. Check out the examples:

I spent five-ninths of my salary.

Two-third of your work was wasted.

using predeterminers in a sentence

Intensifiers as Pre-determiners

Intensifiers, also known as attitudinal adverbial phrases, are used to strengthen the meaning of a noun or adjective in English. While there are various types of intensifiers in English, some of them can be used as pre-determiners in a noun phrase. Take a look at some of the most common intensifiers:

Such and Rather as Pre-determiners

'Such' and 'rather' are used with the same meaning before other determiners. They both intensify and strengthen the meaning of a noun phrase. Take a look at the examples:

Do not be such a baby.

You have rather a fast car.

Warning

Remember 'such' and 'rather' can be used as pre-determiners only when the determiner is indefinite ('a, an') or zero article. When using definite article 'the' or other determiners such as possessive and demonstrative determiners, 'such' and 'rather' cannot be used as pre-determiners.

'What' as a Pre-determiner

When used before a determiner or a noun with no article, the term 'what' can express surprise or disappointment and is considered an exclamation. In these cases, the sentence is in exclamative mood and is typically followed by an exclamation mark. Check out the examples:

What a nice car!

What a pity!

What cold weather!

Warning

Again, this word can only be used as a pre-determiner before indefinite or zero articles.

'Quite' as a Pre-determiner

The word 'quite' can be used with the same meaning as the adverb 'very'. This pre-determiner can be used before every type of determiner in a noun phrase to intensify the meaning of the noun. Check out the examples:

He is quite my type.

He made quite a terrible cake.

Distributives as Pre-determiners

Out of all the distributives, only two of them are typically used as pre-determiners before a noun. The word 'All' can be used as a pre-determiner with both countable and uncountable nouns, while 'both' is only used with countable nouns.
Check out the examples:

All your money is gone.

All these books are mine.

Both my friends are mad at me.

Warning

Remember both and all are not used with indefinite article 'a' or 'an.'

Review

Pre-determiners are used before central determiners to make a set of determiners that can modify a particular noun. Here is the list of pre-determiners.

  • multipliers
  • fractions
  • intensifiers
  • distributives (both, all, half)

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As you know, pre-determiners, determiners, and post-determiners can be used together to modify a noun. In this lesson, we will learn about their order.

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There are three interrogative determiners in English: what, which, and whose. In this lesson, we will go through each one of them.

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